HealthDay News — For low-income pregnant women, the prevalence of suicide ideation is 4.6 percent, with increased odds of suicide ideation for women with depression, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Karen M. Tabb, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis among 736 low-income pregnant women enrolled in the Women Infant and Children supplemental nutrition program and a perinatal depression registry between 2013 and 2015. The authors sought to estimate the prevalence and correlates of suicide ideation. Suicide ideation was captured from Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) screens.

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The researchers found that the prevalence of suicide ideation was 4.6 percent in the study population. A greater proportion of women with suicide ideation were maternal smokers compared with those not reporting suicide ideation (23.53 versus 11.40 percent). For each 1-point increase in the EPDS score, the odds of reporting suicide ideation were increased 39 percent in unadjusted analyses; in fully adjusted models, the odds of reporting suicide ideation increased by 43 percent for each 1-point increase in EPDS score.

“Based on our findings, we suggest that practitioners should consider using instruments that screen for suicidal ideation as well as for depression to identify women who need mental health referrals and follow-up,” Tabb said in a statement.

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